The newest episode of Star Wars: Rebels is on the Watch Disney XD app. Path of the Jedi was very good. I highly suggest you watch it before reading this. It is an important episode to the series and most of all, Frank Oz returns as the voice of Yoda in it. He’s the Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back who asks questions rooted deep within the hero’s insecurities and why they pursue the power they do. He’s also back as the important guide for the hero’s path. Considering how Ezra and Kanan have been positioned in the series, they need the guidance of someone like Yoda from time to time and apparently they’re getting it.
This episode is classic Star Wars in every sense of the word. This episode pulls motifs from the 1st draft of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Leigh Brackett Draft a lot of trippy things go down. Luke finds himself in the stars fighting Darth Vader. Path of the Jedi seems to pluck upon those same strings here. I can’t lie, the moment Ezra stepped into the stars, I was pretty excited to see the Leigh Brackett ideas executed visually. I think it works here rather well and fits this medium. It was always something that left me wondering what she was thinking when she wrote that stuff because its hard to imagine Mark Hamill shot against a star field in the late 70s and it look solid. We know Empire the way we know it. Its hard to imagine that happening there. It was nice to see it brought to life in this episode and most of all to see the execution work.
I also liked that we see Yoda as a wisp. I think it was the smart and conservative way to handle Yoda’s appearance on the show. Mythologically speaking, wisps draw travelers from their safe paths and Yoda does that here. I particularly liked how the journey was supposed to be Ezra’s but it was just as much a trial of accepting one’s responsibility in the universe for Kanan as it was for Ezra. In Empire Yoda mentions that for a long time he has watched Luke Skywalker. It is interesting to see Yoda actually watching others too. Most of all I liked that it pulled upon the final Yoda arc from Star Wars: The Clone Wars to position Yoda in his place for this series.
When we learned there was a Jedi Temple on Lothal, I was a little apprehensive about it. It seems easy. But I did enjoy the show’s logic that Ezra was born on Lothal for a reason (also The Clone Wars did set it up that little temples exist in the Savage arc). Kanan utters something along the lines of “Makes sense.” I happen to agree. I might have preferred the Inquisitor to be used a little more sparingly here though. After the first time he pops up, we get he’s not really real even though Ezra doesn’t. Sure, Ezra is afraid but the audience knows and its a punch that loses a little more power each time it is thrown. That’s probably my one criticism of layout of this story.
It is good Ezra finally has his lightsaber. I dig it. I think its a cool design. I think its unique. I like that they saved its feature for a future episode (one shown in guides since last summer). Most of all, I’m glad it feels like the show has grown a little more after this episode. Ezra feels like he’s on the right track and we can start to see him becoming the Padawan he’s supposed to be.
On the podcast this week, I questioned if not seeing Yoda was going to be a problem. It wasn’t. Frank Oz’s voice as Yoda makes it all work great. Can you believe this show has already given us James Earl Jones as Darth Vader and Frank Oz as Yoda? What’s next? Billy Dee Williams as Lando?
This episode will air on Disney XD next week but if you have the app installed and you’re logged in using your cable provider, you can watch it now on the app via your AppleTV, Roku, or tablet/phone if you’re dying to see it.